Tuesday, November 18, 2014

WY34/WY33 The Camden-Millville Turn - Part II

Splitting the train to avoid blocking Olive street we get ready to replace the empty LV box car at Holloway Lumber company with a loaded delivery (PRR).


We also have 2 loads to deliver across the way in North Woodbury but they will have to wait for the WY33 return trip (and trailing point turnouts).

At Woodbury we meet WY842 returning with empty hoppers from the Atlantic City Electric power house in Deepwater. Coming off the Penns Grove branch, it needs to snake across 3 tracks to get to the northbound main.

We need to pick up 2 empties (NP & NADX) from the Woodbury team track and drop off a load of canned goods (CP) for the local Acme markets.

Since Woodbury has 2 sets of run-around tracks, we do a rare facing point delivery of a tank car of Pepsi-Cola syrup at the Woodbury Bottling Co.

We have 4 reefers that need icing before they go to various southern NJ farms so we will drop them at the icing platforms in the small South Woodbury yard.



With the remains of our train reconnected we are off to Millville. See you on the return trip!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

WY34/WY33 The Camden - Millville Turn - Part I

WY34/WY33 was the local turn that ran from Camden through Woodbury to Millville. It did a whole lot of switching along the line and will take at least 2 posts to cover.

In the very early 1950s the line was still double  (and triple) tracked and that is the period I chose to model. All the switches in this portion of the railroad were trailing point so one side of the railroad got switched going southbound (WY34 or WY841) and the other side was switched on the return leg (WY33 or WY840) of the turn.To me, switching is the fun challenge of the layout.

Towns did not like having their automobile intersections blocked so operators are required to split their trains at each crossing during switching moves (that's 4 locations before you get to the main Woodbury station).

The Woodbury yard also has an icing facility (probably long gone before 1950, but thanks to a friendly time warp, it is still present here). All the reefers get iced at Woodbury. Those new fangled mechanical reefers are serviced by a local gas truck. The bulk of the wooden reefers spend time at the icing facility before reaching their farm destinations. South Jersey was loaded with farms and many provided Campbell Soup (in Camden) with their vegetable needs.

I also have all the locals drop their cars needing northbound deliveries in the Woodbury yard (no sense lugging them back and forth) to be picked up by the next northbound local.

 The yard Baldwin switcher, one of the few engines I have that actually fits the period (and the railroad), gets WY34 blocked and ready to roll:

This is southern New Jersey (i.e. the "Garden State") so the farms need plenty of reefers to get their produce to market and in this time frame the bulk of the reefer fleet was still ice hatch oriented.

Power for today is a pair of PRSL GP38s (there's that time friendly time warp again - these didn't arrive on site until 1967-1969; someone please make a Baldwin road switcher in N scale!)

We trundle across the Timber Creek trestle with 14 cars in tow.

We need to deliver 3 cars in Westville and pick up 6 empties. First we have to get the 3 empty hoppers from the PRSL generating station. (Time warp again.) The power plant was built in 1906. It used to supply electric to power the passenger service using an outside 3rd rail. The state banned wooden passenger cars [they telescoped in accidents, increasing fatalities] and the electric passenger service was then replaced by steam and diesel powered steel car trains in 1949. (And RDCs in 1950-51.)

The local power company (Public Service Electric) made an inexpensive offer of electric power in 1922 and the plant was shut down and the smoke stacks removed. It then sat there abandoned until being torn down around the turn of the century.

We also need to pick up an empty gondola and replace it with 2 loaded ones at the Buzby Bros. cement mixing facility and replace an empty 50 box car with a loaded one on the team track.


We also need to snatch an empty box car from the middle track (Texaco storage).

With 17 cars NOW in tow, we head off to North Woodbury to continue our switching duties.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Reading Coal Transfer and WY843/WY842

Evidently Reading got the contract to deliver coal to the Atlantic City Electric Company power plant in Deepwater, NJ (Penns Grove branch). From what I can tell the coal transfer from Pennsylvania was usually delivered by 3 Reading RS3s. Whether they changed engines or not and whether they returned with empties from Camden or Deepwater I do not know.

I believe the PRSL train designation was WY843 southbound from Camden (and the northbound return WY842 from Deepwater/Penns Grove). (The Penns Grove local was WY841/WY840.) Until I know more, and lacking Reading RS3s, I will run this train from staging with a pair of Life-Like Reading F7s, switch to a pair of Atlas Pennsy RS3s in the Pavonia (Camden) yard and run as a non-stop coal drag through Woodbury and down the Penns Grove branch.

The WY designation was for trains from Camden through Woodbury (to Millville, Salem, or the Penns Grove branches). This distinguished the trains from Camden to Burlington ("CB") and to Haddonfield/Atlantic City ("CA"). The origin of the "WY" designation is still in dispute. One PRSL member suggested it stood for the trains originating in the West Yard portion of the Camden yard. Other members sent an avalanche of exceptions which seemed to rule out that theory. A long time engineer and the source of the bulk of the PRSLHS information said it stood for West Jersey. That seems to be the popular choice, but I see no other designations using the last letter of a split name. I tend to lean towards Bert Pennypacker's (Pennsy Steam Years, volume 3, p. 30) explanation of it representing trains running through Woodbury's yard as all trains for the Millville, Salem, and Penns Grove branches did. (Where else can you get all this trivia?)

Leaving staging

Through Philadelphia & Manayunk, PA

Arriving in Pavonia (Camden, NJ) yard

Removing the Reading "caboose" and adding a PRSL "cabin"

WY843 Highballing through Westville

Covering the Woodbury commuters with swirling coal dust 

The triple deuce is bringing up the rear

Taking the crossovers to get onto the Penns Grove branch

And heading out of town!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Commute Home

The as promised commute home from Philly: (Obviously out of scheduled order, but all the trains were already active on the layout.) Again using 3 trains to cover the 6 probably run on the Millville branch.

A doodlebug from the Penns Grove branch used to meet the commuter trains in Woodbury until 1950 or 1951. Until I get mine actually assembled it is sadly missing the action.


First we catch the RDC pair in Westville:

... then pulling out from the Olive Street shelter in south Westville. The building across the street used to be a news stand and barber shop and the Union Fire Company was up the street on the corner. There used to be a siding for a lumber yard here but a DelMonte distributor took its place a decade or 2 later. I will model that just to give the layout some variety. In the 1950s every town had multiple coal dealerships and lumber companies - I've reduced that to a coal dealership in Westville and the 1950s Holloway Lumber Company in North Woodbury.

Finally we see them accelerating out of south Woodbury passing a hazardous material truck that would make Homer Simpson proud:


Shifting to the Geep and P70s we catch it coming off the Timber Creek trestle and entering Westville:

And then accelerating out of Woodbury towards Millville:


The passenger parade ends with the Budd RDC chase. First we find it bisecting the Brooklawn circles. The other circle has a Merit gas station. When I began driving in 1964 gas cost 27.9 cents per gallon there. And from there the teens could race at all the traffic lights along Route 130. [I had to carefully pick my opponents in my used slant 6 Plymouth Valiant, with a push button automatic transmission! :-) ]

This picture shows the Budd on the wooden Timber Creek trestle:

Leaving the trestle and entering Westville:

South Westville was home to a pair of Pennsy position signals:

And finally leaving south Woodbury. Woodbury had an icing facility but since I have yet to find a picture of it, it was probably a lot smaller than this one. But this one adds a lot of operational interest by forcing all non-mechanical reefers to be iced there on the way to the South Jersey farms. Campbell Soup does not appreciate rotten vegetables! :-(  

Monday, November 3, 2014

An Unintentional Lull Period

My railroad activities have been temporarily slowed by life.

I have been teaching theology in a church discipleship program and now have to prepare for the upcoming tax season (part-time  job for a tax prep company). And my mind just doesn't retain things like it used to.

Following the last op session I had to prepare all the waybills for the next session (spring) and find all the cars my #$*!  :-)  operators did not leave with their waybills. It takes some pre-set-up time which I actually enjoy because I get to recreate the shipments the local industries in my 1950's home towns would have been receiving and sending.

Meanwhile I have been collecting materials for the 3rd hobby article I hope to write (in about a year). It will cover both the Pennsylvania - Reading Seashore Lines prototype and the layouts of those who model it (4 to 5 at last count; contact me if you have one). When you have your hands in many projects, none of them seem to make much progress. You tend to get worn down and then disappointed at the darn'est things.

One of my current pet peeves is the model railroad forums I currently monitor, and depend heavily on for inspiration, they currently seem to have a whole lot of hot air (some folks just need to comment on everything, including non-hobby events) and do not post a lot of pictures. "In my world" I would propose that you would need a picture every 200 words or be banned from further comments! - All in favor: .....

A second rule would be that if you are on a forum for more than 2 years, you must have at least 6 sq ft of semi-finished scenery or you lose your posting rights. (Folks with lots of young kids or small apartments could apply for a temporary exclusions.)

On-topic questions would always be acceptable.

Meanwhile back on the farm.

I have again started photographing the aspects of what my operating sessions should be. In the early 1950s, the PRSL Millville branch was probably running about 6 commuter trains  to Philadelphia in the morning and 6 home at night. I am trying to get by with 3 each way (if I got ambitious I could rerun each 2 times, but since I prefer the freight operations: NO!).

The last runs I did were a pair of RDCs (the PRSL had 12 of them). [My RDCS have had the Pennsy decaling removed and are awaiting the PRSL decals which I possess]. These were followed by a Geep with 2 or 3 P70 coaches [I have the decals for them also, but removing the current lettering will be more of a challenge.] And finally a single Budd demo RDC (which the PRSL would borrow every summer).

Today's pictures are for the "To Philadelphia" commute. Next post will be the "From Philly" commute (out of order). Then I'll cover the Reading coal transfer from Pennsylvania that ends up at the Atlantic City Electric power plant in Deepwater, NJ. And then the 2 locals and the tank sweeper.

Patience! (I wish!)
A pair of Millville RDCS passing over Evergreen Avenue & Woodbury-Glassboro road in South Woodbury.
The RDCs at the Brooklawn circles. The Murphy House Park n' Eat was the greasy spoon perched on the "round-about".
A Geep and a pair of P70 coaches between the Woodbury station and the North Woodbury passenger shelter.
Last glance of the P70s leaving Westville to transverse the Timber Creek wooden trestle to Brooklawn.
Westville was the sight of the PRSL power plant that once energized the discontinued electric passsenger service on the line.
Summer seashore traffic necessitated borrowing the Budd Co demo unit every year.

Here the Budd unit is accelerating past the Red Oak tower in Woodbury.


Slowing to pick up commuters at the North Woodbury shelter.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Op Session #2

Our second ops session is in the books. The two Tims ("Sr"/TimHar47 & "Jr"/Model Railcast Show) again handled the Pavonia / Millvile/Penns Grove yard (Brown tower).

"Sr." aligning turnouts
"Jr": Ooooh, we just missed it by that much!
Following a couple of commuter runs (RDCs & a Geep with two P70 coaches), they handled both a coal & a merchandise transfer from Philadelphia, made up the Millville local and sent it to Bob (Ntrainz1 in Red Oak tower) so he could switch Westville & Woodbury.

The Millville local entering Westville.
Dropping a load of sand at Buzby Bros. cement facility.
Picking up 3 reefers from the south Woodbury icing facility
...and leaving one to be iced.
Since "Jr" took a lot of aggravation (Conrail98) from his yard duty last op session, he wanted me to display this picture of the empty Pavonia yard.:

What he did not want me to tell you was that two trains were stacked up waiting to get into the yard!:

Anyway we had a great time together and raised the laugh quotient at least 10%!